NBA Playoffs Report Card 4.30.12: Heat fly high

By Ben Golliver | Blogger
Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat are cruising over the Knicks (Getty Images)

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad, and the ugly from the night that was. Monday night's edition compiled by Matt Moore and Ben Golliver.

Miami HeatFlying Death Machine in full effect. The Heat strangled Carmelo Anthony's ISO opportunities, attacked the rim relentlessly, created ball movement and knocked down shots. When they play like that, there's no stopping them. None. -- MM
Oklahoma City ThunderTwo nail-biters, two must-win-to-hold-serve slugfests, two Thunder victories. OKC won the free throw shooting battle on Monday, knocking down 37-for-39 to edge out Dallas, who hit 38-32. The sheer size of those numbers says all you need to know about how intense this first round series already is. OKC dodged some bullets thanks to a few unexpected Dirk Nowitzki misses late. Holding serve was absolutely vital in the playoff's best series. -- BG
Indiana PacersFinally got it together vs. the Magic. After trailing in the first half, the Pacers put together a dominant run, and wound up holding the Magic to 35 percent shooting. They can live with the Magic dragging their offense down if they can respond in kind. Closing off inside oppotunities on the pick and roll for Glen Davis went a long way towards the Pacers tying up the series. -- MM
Dallas MavericksThe Mavericks have to be frustrated with Monday's loss -- especially after dropping Game 1 at the buzzer -- but they can't exactly be disappointed with their effort. They've held Kevin Durant's shooting efficiency down for two straight games, they've battled back and kept things nip-and-tuck throughout and they've managed to play some excellent late-game defense in spots. The series shifting to Dallas for Game 3 should provide consolation and confidence for the Mavericks, who are a long, long way from being eliminated. -- BG
Orlando MagicHard to blame the Magic for the loss, they went down because they don't have Dwight Howard and therefore not enough talent. They hung around long enough to make the Pacers think about it, though, and haven't let Indiana consistently find a matchup to exploit. Still, they had a chance to put the Pacer on the cliff, and let them off hook. -- MM
New York KnicksThis team is better defensively, than what they've shown, they're just not better against Miami than they have shown. The Knicks, in all honestly, are outclassed in offensive system and talent, defensive ability, and overall construct. Melo makes an impressive shooting barrage, but it can't sustain. With Amar'e Stoudemire possibly injured in an incident involving a fire extinguisher glass case, things could not be going worse for New York as their rollercoaster continues. -- MM
 
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